Sunday, March 30, 2008

Catching Up

It has been busy around here. Didn't get away for the weekend until after 4:30 on Friday. So? You might say. Well, usually I get away on Thursday and do the odds and ends I can do from my computer at the house where my husband and dog live, the house where my life should be rather than that other house from which I commute to the JOB!

Arrived late Friday but per usual the husband was waiting for dinner. So, in the house, unpack, change clothes, pour wine and think about what to eat. I prefer to indulge in the wine a bit and the husband is chewing his arm off so I made soup and sandwiches and each of us ate as we were so inclined.

Saturday, day one of the dreaded obedience class for the girl. No, not me, haven't been a girl for a century or half. I told her she was going to dancing school so she was excited. No, seriously, she was. When we got to school which is an hour and a half from here but so worth it, we visited with all the folks we knew from our last great Rottie. The breeder owns the kennel/training school and her son runs the place. The trainer is the same wonderful lady who paced us through our Bear baby. She is so fabulous. Our girl was the oldest in the group and by far the biggest. She spent a lot of time in the center of the circle being used as the demo kid since she needed so much to be demo'd for. I don't know who was more exhausted when that hour was up, her and the hubby who paced her through it or me who had to keep getting up and leaving the room since I couldn't watch the two of them being singled out, yet again, for the demo thing. We were not a minute too soon with this class.

After class we met some friends who were bringing their kid, Louie, for a class as well. We had time for lunch and ate at a Vietnamese restaurant near by. Never had Vietnamese food before but let me say I will be on the hunt for more. Everything was fresh and flavorful and delicious. There were very few, just the four of us it seemed, non Vietnamese people in this place. It was very large and spotlessly clean. The waitresses were so lovely and helpful. We had a great experience and our waitress was so thrilled that I asked what her favorite was and ordered it. It was like a rice chowder with tons of chicken and cilantro. Bean sprouts were served on the side along with a chunk of lime.

Following lunch? Home we came and got on with the Saturday things like mopping the hardwood, vacuuming, dishes from earlier etc etc etc. After dinner we watched John Adams. We had missed the regular viewings so went to On Demand, what a great invention huh? We saw two episodes and are really looking forward to another. I read the book which was great and the series is certainly capturing the spirit of 76. Casting is really on target.

Today is a cold one and laundry is in order. The sun is out right now and the sky is a blinding bright blue. God's in His heaven, all's well with our world. I hope the same is true for you.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Truth? or Consequences

Did I ever write about a happening when I was in the sixth grade? I didn't think so. Let me do that now. When I was in the sixth grade, yikes! that was over 50 years ago, I was a chubby and very young for my age girl. I was the youngest of the lot at home and truly the youngest of the lot at school. My birthday was December and I was enrolled a few months before the legal age for reasons of being able to write and speak in a bossy manner. Everyone in my life was way older than I was and I was a chub and had two brothers and 4 uncles not much older than my brothers. I was always in defense mode or silent. Got it?

One day, walking through a patch of woods at the end of my dead end street, my girlfriend and I were pelted with garbage by boys hiding behind large rocks. As they threw the, as I recall, old grapefruit halves, they called names which rang in my head. "Fatso, Piggo" Whatever O. My mother would usually tell me to "man up" not in those words but you get it. Sticks and stones etc etc and so forth. This particular time, I guess, my hysteria got to her. It usually didn't since girls are always sooooo dramatic. I spotted a boy from my class as I ran home. He was standing up and appeared to have just thrown something so when I was able to tell my mother what had happened, I named him. You have to have known my mother to know this was a monumental moment. She always protected her kids but we always fought our own battles. She actually called that boy's home and read them the riot act.

As parents did back then, his father dragged him by the ear to our house to hear the story first hand. I was terrified. There was so much anger going on between the parents. You have to know here that my parents?, they never hit us, they sort of yelled but not in an angry way. The anger that boys dad was showing scared me to death. That boy's name was Alan and I knew he would be dead by morning if I were not absolutely sure about my story. My mother, who had never called a parent in anger in her life was behind me. Alan and his homicidal dad were in front of me. I had to tell the story as I know it happened. I could only tell the truth! I never saw Alan throw the garbage grapefruit that hit me on the head. I never saw him call me Fatso Piggo. I only saw him standing up behind that rock when the deed had been done. I could not say he did it and my mother never forgave me. I cared but I couldn't send Alan to his death with half a story. In truth? I think he did it. I just couldn't say for absolutely certain sure.

Since that teaching moment, I have never wanted to extrapolate a story from events I had not witnessed for sure. That's kind of why I am so sensitive to the press and it's nonsense and how people jump on the hook because it's the story they want to hear.

Just sayin'

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Girls' Club Meeting

Back at the office and not very pleased to be here but I guess we all have to do unpleasant things from time to time and it's my time. I am having company tonight so will have to leave soon to pick up the hostess things and get home before my guest. It's girls' club and we haven't met in quite some time, come to think of it, we haven't been girls for quite some time so it all works out.

There are only two of us who meet. We drink wine and watch Dr. Phil and if that looks dumb we pick the Biggest Loser or whatever silly stuff is on. Most often we just go on and on as girls will. We get silly and laugh and sometimes so we can yak about that rather than complain about our little messy lives. It's fun.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


This morning begins with the Red Sox in Japan playing Oakland. It was 6:30AM when the husband put on the radio. Why does it feel like summer when I hear baseball on the radio? Even now with a dusting of snow - yes I said snow!!!- on the ground if I squint I can almost see leaves on the trees. No. Not really.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Taxachusetts and Insane Educators

I just heard on the radio that a major meeting occurred here in Massachusetts. School Superintendents from all over the state met and one of the main discussion points concerned the label "chronically under performing" that many schools in Massachusetts have earned. It seems that the language impacts teachers' egos and self-esteem. What better way for a highly paid educators to spend their time? Let's think of a new phrase to identify poor performance, a kinder gentler way to label the failures. Let's not spend any time on fixing the reasons schools aren't making it. Let's coin that phrase and now let's talk ways to make people raise their own property taxes so we can hire more psychiatrists to deal with the poor self images which result from those harsh phrases the teachers and children have had to deal with. High Fives all!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Holiday Greetings

I'm wishing everyone the Happiest Easter and if you don't celebrate Easter then have the happiest whatever you want. We are having a small get together tomorrow with some of the family. Some are working and some aren't speaking and

That was then and this is now. The dinner today was wonderful. My husband is a fabulous cook. He made lamb and a reduced something or other sauce, zinfandel I think. A neighbor stopped in and brought oysters he had just dug up or picked off or whatever you do with oysters. He also brought clams. We had shrimp. My FIL with the hip replacement was here and he had a hugely wonderful time. We kept giving him special treats and he ate them up (yuck, yuck). My BIL and his daughter were here and my late brother's son, my nephew. We had such a great day. Our rescue Rottie was a cannonball for about 10 minutes and then settled into leaning and loving hugs. Wine was poured, glasses were broken, carrot cake was eaten, lots of coffee and just a generally great family thing. Not as large as usual as I started to explain but quality as they say. We had our regular disagreement between my FIL and his two sons all of whom are deaf as haddocks which means no one knows who they're arguing with or what they other people have said but that doesn't stop them. The rest of us ate cake and watched. Now the husband? He's snoring in the chair and the nephew? watching some show about dinosaurs. Later Gators and Happy Easter. He is Risen Indeed!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tis the Season

This week has been one or sure. I am going through a moulting phase. I haven't tracked the times I go through these but probably it would be happening at this point in previous manifestations. Moulting, for those who wonder, is where my shell becomes soft and thin, kind of like the lobster's shell does. It prepares the lobster for growth I think. Maybe it's the same for me but in my case it's a sensation of being vulnerable, defenseless, like the onion being peeled. Everything and everyone is magnified. I am cowering ready to be attacked. In this condition I can find hurt where absolutely none exists. I sleep poorly, I eat a lot, (how better to thicken my shell?), and generally moan, whine and cry. When I pull out of these moults I am usually heavier and often a bit more tuned in to me and sometimes those around me. This could also be that SAD thing that people suffer from. It has been grey and dull forever it seems. It could be that but my general behavior is more of the moult variety.

I was explaining moulting to a very dear friend this morning since she had been taking offense at any number of things that any number of people had done, she agreed totally. We both laughed our way through the thicken up the skin thing through eating lots and lots and we came to the conclusion that our moulting season is followed by the F*** You season. We enter that season bloated and with lots of protective skin. We rebound from the cowering by going on the offensive.

Someone has to stop this horrible cycle of behavior. That someone had better catch us at the right time though. They'll either be ashamed of themselves for abusing weeping wailing women or once they turn their backs be pummelled (love that word) and totally punished for ever daring to make any suggestion.

And you thought Menopause was tough!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Top of the Mornin'

So the corned beef and cabbage yesterday was too good. I really love the cabbage more that any of the rest of the meal. This morning not one ring would fit on my fingers so I know I didn't reduce that sodium by as much as I wanted to. Guess if you cook the potatoes in with the meat to pull the sodium out, well then, you shouldn't proceed to eat the potatoes which are then loaded with the sodium you pulled out of the. . . etc etc and sodium.

Today, winter has returned at least temperature wise. It is barely 35 and howling wind but the sky is blue so when your face freezes off you don't feel quite as gloomy. Works for me. Have a Happy St Patty's Day.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Memory

Just searching the net for a corned beef and cabbage recipe since we are having that today. Happy Palm Sunday and St Patrick's Eve Y'all. South Boston is either the place to be or stay away from .. parades and breakfasts and count down til Easter. It's not snowing yet but I'll bet it flurries before the day is done. It wouldn't be a St. Patrick's Day parade without a flake or two and I mean the snow variety...there'll be more than one or two flakes marching and watching. Joking.

Years ago when I lived in Houston...actually just outside of Houston in Crosby..St Patrick's landed on a weekday and one of my never left Texas neighbors wanted to show me that Houston could celebrate the holiday too. We met after work for a pint or two and he brought me to, what he called his favorite pub. It was a cozy spot called Grif's and we went to sit at the bar. They were playing Irish music and a sign said the special was corned beef and cabbage. They didn't need no stinkin' sign, you could smell that special and man oh man did it ever smell good. The bartender turned to us and waited for our order. I said I would have a Beeah and his eyes lit up. "Boston", he said. "I'm from Jamaica Plain." "I used to date a guy from JP", I responded. " We used to go to Cuniff's and Kilgariff's" and we were off and running. He owned the place and we were both home sick. My neighbor got a tour of Boston and the burbs through us. And he thought he could show me a thing or two about neighborhood bars in Houston. That was a funny night. Once the singing started it went on for quite some time.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

More Is Never Enough

Just read the Opinion Journal of the Wall Street J and there was an article about Richard "Dickie" Scruggs. He is a richer than Croesus tort lawyer who bribed, or attempted to, a judge to rule in his favor for a Katrina class action suit. The judge called the FBI and that, as they say, was that. Attorney Scruggs pleaded guilty and the question at the end of the article is:

"why a guy that rich and that good at beating money out of corporations would put the whole game at risk this way."

Their answer is hubris. Here's mine and I am thrilled to finally get to use this. My answer is what my grandmother used to say about my brother. She said he saw everything as "mine" and that means More Is Never Enough!!!!

YAY Gram! She was a heck of a people studier and she found them all in her own family.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Day Begins

Aches and pains and age things haunt me this week. I have no reason to not have these aches and pains and age related things since like every living thing on earth I am getting older day by day. There is no alternative that is pleasant. The only way to stop getting older is to die. I'm not ready for that, as if I have any say in it. Motrin is in my future and better nutrition along with exercise. Sigh. The dog is waiting and my shoes are missing. I must go forth and find them and take her awalking.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


What would I do without this place to type nonsense? I ask. No one has answered yet. I'll wait. . . . .

Monday, March 10, 2008

Revisiting Earlier Writings

Did you ever go back to something you wrote and wonder at yourself that you wrote it? Here, for example is something I wrote ages ago and have to revisit:

I think this is dated sometime in 2006? Maybe?

I re-read some of my earlier postings and oh,
my, some of them are pretty poignant and moving . . to me, at least. I always,
as I said, have the radio on a Christian station and every morning there is a
stream of half hour ministries that get me up and moving. I haven't written
about them for some time but having re-read the older posts where I did write
about them, and having the need for the messages, I thought I would share this
morning's experience which was really on point, with me at least.The message is
from Ligonier Ministries Renewing Your Mind with Dr. J. C. Sproul. I love that
show. It is so cerebral, it makes you stretch and isn't that wonderful in the
morning. This morning the discussion was about Jonah. He was sent by God to
Ninevah and ran away, fell into the ocean, swallowed by a great fish, up chucked
onto dry land and told again to go to Nineveh which he hastily did. Once there
he said they had 40 days before destruction, repent or die and they repented.
Jonah was furious and went off to sulk in the sun of the desert. God sent a
plant to shade him followed by a worm which ate the plant and then dry heat
blasting wind. God spoke to Jonah and pretty much wondered how Jonah could feel
bad for the plant which he never created or nurtured and had no feelings for all
of the people of Nineveh who would have died.Jonah hated the people of Nineveh,
they were the enemies of the Israelites. He wanted justice not mercy for them. I
used to be so angry when I caught the message of God's grace...a person could be
rotten and mean and cruel and abusive and do unspeakable acts and yet. . . when
hearing the message of the Gospel and taking it to heart could claim Jesus as
his savior, repent and be forgiven of everything and then, a new man in Christ
go on with life, a servant of God. I always thought justice would not be served
that way. I wanted that for me but not for people who were mean to me and those
I loved. I have been gradually worked on and know that my way is not God's way
(boy is that for sure and am I glad of that) and I know that as each of the
sin's for which we are forgiven is pulled out of our baggage, confessed to and
repented for, I know each of those sin's is forgiven and forgotten by God. I
also know that each of them rolls through our heads and humbles us in enormous
ways...there is regret and that in my mind sometimes is the justice. To see
ourselves as God did when we were committing those sins is so

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Start of the Day

It's a Sherlock Holmes kind of morning. That's what I started to write was foggy and wet. Today is bright and sunny and unfortunately cold too. Thought Spring was just around the corner but I guess it's around the corner and down the hall and up the stairs. Off to walk the dog and then tend to the various and sundry mundane chores that make life move along in as smooth a way as it can. Company has been here for the week end and will be here till tomorrow morning so I will be back.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Good and Notso Good

Two things, one good and one notso. Yesterday I went through a lot of old records and papers and found a file that explained some things I needed to know. Some day I can perhaps actually write about these things but suffice to say that the records I found reassured me that an action I took some time ago was the right thing to do. Oh, I knew it in my heart but there, in that file, on paper, in writing, dated some time ago was the information I needed to reassure me that my instincts were correct in doing what I did. I have paid a price for my actions and I have not justified them with supreme confidence because I doubt myself so often. I just knew at the time that what I did was right and I did it based on that and little more. To find the records that show I was right was perfect because the person who has decided I was dead to them because of my actions sent a very nasty email to me today. I wonder how I might have cringed had I not discovered that file. I might have second third or fourth guessed myself (as I have done many times since taking that action by the way) and this evening, rather than being mildly annoyed, I could be painfully broken. I will say this, that file I found is for me and me alone. I have no need to ever justify my actions again. That's the good part. The notso good part is that nagging ache over a bitter person out there who is so angry still. I wish that email had stayed in cyberspace rather than landing in my mailbox. Does any of this rambling make sense? Well it helped to spew it forth. Thank goodness for blogs.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I Remember Florida

It's been a rough few days or so. I really do suffer this long grey winter time. I pine for palm trees and that special smell in Florida when you first arrive, kind of floral and fresh airy. My father used to say it was all the orange blossoms or citrus trees. They smell wonderful that's all I know and I pine for that. My father did too that last winter of his life. My mother could have cared. Florida to her just meant distance from the kids and grandchildren and when she was young enough to enjoy but old enough to have grandchildren she and Dad were in Florida from October until May. She missed every major holiday except 4th of July and Labor Day. Not good. From the time I was 10 or so we would go to Florida in December. We would be there for Christmas and New Year's and be back right after the 1st of the year. My older brother and I would be taken out of school for that time, oh, we would bring all the books and assignments with us and do some schoolwork during each week day but we would be FREE!, not only free but in a new place with sun and ocean and sand and out to eat a lot. We stayed at a small motel in Hollywood Beach. It sat across the street from the beach and there was nothing across the street but beach. The motel was a 2 story courtyard type with a pool in the middle and on the beach side there was a small restaurant/lounge type thing which served breakfast and lunch and then had entertainment in the evenings when the bar really opened. It was called the Holiday Beach Resort and a family ran it and lived there as well. We went there for years and stayed in two adjoining rooms. One room where my parents stayed had a sitting area that turned into a bedroom and it also had a kitchenette where we would have breakfast and lunch each day. The adjoining room had two double beds and there my brother and I would stay.

Each year the same families would return and we developed friendships with the kids out of necessity. There were no other sources of companions. Every day was very similar. We would sit by the pool in our swimsuits. I would bring schoolwork with me and between swims in the pool I would finish an assignment or two. My brother would show off his diving skills much to every one's awe and appreciation. My parents would sit in the sun with us and socialize with the others. It was one of the longest stretches of time ever that we got to see my Dad. He would be working if we were home. December was always the slump time for his business and he owned his own so he could take off now that my oldest brother was able to watch the place. My oldest brother was married with children and worked at the family business so this December thing was heaven to my folks. The main problem was, of course, it was Christmas. My mother was in emotional pain for the entire time. What are the grandchildren doing? She missed my brother and his wife. She loved them all very much and so did we but, we were not the mother and grandmother. She was really torn since she never had my father for such a long stretch, we never went out when at home and here we were going out to dinner EVERY night. Oh, we didn't go to fine dining rooms, we went to family cafeterias which were abundant back then and affordable as was the motel. I have a notebook Mother kept that lists all the expenses and let me tell you they were few and small. We went out though and the four of us and sometimes a single Uncle who lived in Hollywood, and sometimes a group from the motel, whatever the combination, we all enjoyed ourselves enormously.

Eventually, my older brother stayed home and worked with the oldest brother and it was just the three of us. We would still meet and greet and sit by the pool. When I was in college I would still spend the holiday break with my parents in Hollywood Beach. Many of the same people would be there minus the kids sometimes. We would go out to dinner and often during the day, since I was old enough, we would go to the track and there, we would run into some of the regulars as well. My Dad seemed to know everyone and my Mother would complain that he could talk anyone's ears off but hers. Now that's a global female complaint.

I miss that; Florida, family, acquaintances, the smell of Florida and the warm sun and beach, and family and friends, and family and palm trees, and. . . . sigh...............